View Full Version : Ben going full tilt in practice today
10-26-2006, 10:09 AM
Thursday, October 26, 2006
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Ben Roethlisberger took another mental test yesterday afternoon that should determine whether he returns to play quarterback for the Steelers Sunday in Oakland.
If all went well, as expected, Roethlisberger should go through a full practice today. Then, it will be up to coach Bill Cowher to decide if Roethlisberger will start against the Raiders.
"I feel good,'' Roethlisberger said before taking the indoor field with his teammates. "Just trying to get ready to get out there and help the team any way I can."
Roethlisberger suited up in pads and threw passes in the early part of drills, but he did none of the team work with the offense. That was planned, Cowher said, because he had one more test to pass before he could go through a full practice.
After practice, Dr. Joseph Maroon gave the quarterback another Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT) that he and Dr. Mark Lovell developed with a team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh. The 20-minute test measures brain process, memory, speed and motor skills.
Cowher listed Roethlisberger as questionable after a concussion knocked him out of the game Sunday in Atlanta in the third quarter. Tests conducted on Roethlisberger's head and neck showed no physical damage.
In almost all cases, patients show improved results on the ImPACT test as time goes on. If that's the case with Roethlisberger, he will practice today.
"This is not my decision, it's the doctor's decision," Cowher said. "Once the doctors have cleared him and he is comfortable with that, then it comes down to working with him and seeing where he's at mentally and understanding he's OK physically."
Raiders coach Art Shell said he expects Roethlisberger to start in Oakland Sunday.
Cowher said Roethlisberger had a "mental" practice yesterday during the team drills and that he passed that one, too.
It's looking more and more like Ben will ready to go on Sunday, which is amazing if you ask me. The way he took that shot, layed motionless on the ground for minutes afterwards, and the way he looked afterwards...the guy is so lucky this one wasn't worse than it appears to be now.
House of Steel
10-26-2006, 10:42 AM
WE NEED BEN!!! We need to keep the rhythm and flow going on offense. We should of won in Atlanta, and this game against Oakland, I can see us run the score way up and then putting Batch in the game in the latter quarters.
10-26-2006, 11:01 AM
Maybe that hit was a wakeup call for the o-line to protect Ben a little better than they have thus far this season. We all know Ben will be out there Sunday, let's just hope for a blowout so Batch can come in late in the 3rd quarter :bigthumb:
Ben needs to give his little guardian angel a break though because he's been putting that angel to work this year!
House of Steel
10-26-2006, 12:26 PM
Ben is one faithful man and he loves to pray . He is a devoted man.
10-26-2006, 02:08 PM
I had originally said that Big Ben should play if he was at all ready, but after reading this, I think I change my vote--kinda scary....
By: Tim Dahlberg
Questionable is a word used a lot around the NFL. It's there every week in the injury reports that bookies and bettors like to study so much, usually stuck somewhere in between probable and doubtful.
Ben Roethlisberger, who was last seen sprawled unconscious on the field in Atlanta, is questionable this week. The Pittsburgh Steelers said so, meaning their star quarterback may or may not play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.
Questionable. It's a word that can be used to describe many things.
Let's begin with the judgment of anyone involved with the Steelers who actually believes it is a good idea to rush back Roethlisberger after two concussions in four months.
Head injury one Sunday, starting nod the next. You don't need a degree in neurology to figure out something is wrong with this equation.
Concussions forced two other quarterbacks out of the game in recent years. Troy Aikman and Steve Young retired early because of the cumulative effect of concussions, and they're hardly alone among NFL alumni.
Current players aren't faring much better.
Quarterbacks Charlie Frye and Steve McNair recently left games with concussions and so did Minnesota receiver Troy Williamson.
Carolina linebacker Dan Morgan's season is over, and the horrifying image of Chiefs quarterback Trent Green having his head slammed to the ground in the first game of the season is an indelible one.
Concussions, it seems, are the NFL's dirty little secret. It's not just that they happen so often, but that the league doesn't seem to be doing much about it.
Sure, the NFL says it has had a committee of doctors studying them since 1994. But experts in the field say the league's studies are flawed, use suspect data, and don't stand up to peer review.
So when the NFL says no evidence has been found that brain function declines as a result of a concussion, the news is greeted with skepticism in the medical community.
"What the NFL allegedly finds is totally at odds with scores of publications that are out there," said Dr. Robert Cantu, a neurologist and leading expert in brain injuries at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "The stuff the NFL is putting out is just not the way the thinking is in the community of sports medicine and specialists with expertise in this area."
Among those is a recent study by the University of North Carolina, which reported 10 percent of retired NFL players say concussions have had a permanent effect on their ability to think and remember things as they've gotten older.
Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson of the New York Giants is one of them. He estimates he had a dozen or more "bell-ringers" in his career, though he wasn't aware they were concussions. Carson said he has long had memory problems because of postconcussion syndrome.
For others, it's even worse.
Former Steelers lineman Terry Long died last year at the age of 45 from a brain inflammation that resulted, in part, from repeated head injuries. Fellow Steelers center Mike Webster was diagnosed with football-induced dementia before he died at the age of 50.
Coaches, though, seem to regard them as minor irritants.
Vikings coach Brad Childress offered his own diagnosis the other day after Williamson was injured.
"He does know what time zone we're in right now, and he can read a clock. So he's going to be OK," Childress said.
Football, of course, isn't alone in having to deal with brain injuries. Keith Primeau had two years and $6 million left on his contract with the Philadelphia Flyers but retired earlier this year when even the most mundane skating drills caused him problems due to past concussions.
And David Eckstein and Jim Edmonds of the St. Louis Cardinals struggled for much of the season after concussions.
Still, the NFL, filled with violent helmet-to-helmet tackles and players with bad intentions, stands out.
In boxing, a fighter knocked out is automatically suspended for 60 days. In the NFL, a player knocked unconscious has returned to play in the same game.
Roethlisberger didn't go back into the game last Sunday, though he wanted to. He also wants to play this Sunday.
"If I get cleared I'm going to beg and plead to be out there," he said.
Hopefully, no one will be listening. Hopefully, the Super Bowl champions, 2-4 so far this season, will resist the temptation to put him in.
Roethlisberger has no business playing Sunday. There's a good argument to be made he shouldn't play again this year.
Big Ben has only one career - and only one life.
It's up to those around him to make sure neither is cut short.
Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlbergap.org
10-26-2006, 02:18 PM
I suppose those are all considerations that must be taken in prior to deciding upon whether or not you would like to be in the NFL. Tiki Barber is getting out after this year because of pain.
:banana: :lol: :bigthumb:
10-26-2006, 05:55 PM
Roethlisberger looks ready to go
PITTSBURGH (AP) - This is what Ben Roethlisberger and coach Bill Cowher were looking for: a normal day of practice for the quarterback.
Roethlisberger, four days removed from a concussion caused by a painful helmet-by-helmet hit in Atlanta, took most of the snaps with the Pittsburgh Steelers' starting offense Thursday and looked ready to play Sunday in Oakland.
"I'm very encouraged by how he feels," Cowher said.
Roethlisberger admittedly was jolted by the jaw-jamming hit he received from the Falcons defensive end Chauncey Davis that knocked him out for a few minutes during the third quarter and forced him to leave the Steelers' 41-38 overtime loss.
But Roethlisberger looked as comfortable and relaxed in practice as he did while slapping high fives with LeBron James following a dunk by the Cavaliers star during an exhibition game in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
Cowher said a final decision on the QB's status won't be made until game time Sunday, mostly because Roethlisberger still must pass more of the post-concussion tests he takes daily. He has passed all tests so far, but any recurring symptoms or setbacks would cause him to sit out the game.
Thursday is one of the Steelers' two major practice days of the week, and any injured player who practices as usual almost always plays on Sunday barring a later setback.
"He took all his reps, he felt very good, and we'll see how he feels tomorrow (Friday)," Cowher said. "We'll see how he feels after he flies across the country."
Playing the 24-year-old Roethlisberger only a week after he received his second concussion since June might seem to be a risky move by the Steelers, given his longterm importance to them. Roethlisberger is viewed within the organization as their most prized quarterback since Terry Bradshaw in the 1970s.
But the Steelers (2-4) place considerable value in the post-concussion tests that were developed by two doctors and their research teams at the University of Pittsburgh, Joseph Maroon and Mark Lovell, and are widely used in the NFL.
"I feel very comfortable with the fact our doctor here, Dr. Maroon, is one of the experts that a lot of people have come to in regards to this injury, so I'm very comfortable," Cowher said. "To me, this is not my decision, it's the doctor's decision."
A player is tested initially when he is healthy, and the results are compared later to those after a player has received a concussion. The tests measure memory, motor skills and speed of response, and any recurring post-concussion symptoms normally show up immediately. Any player who has such symptoms is told he should not play.
"From talking to Dr. Maroon I think that people always speculate that after you have one concussion, you're susceptible to more and then more on top of that," Roethlisberger said. "But from what we've researched and understood is that as time passes, that susceptibility goes away."
However, Roethlisberger's symptoms - being unconscious on the field, memory loss and headaches - are commonly defined by some prominent neurosurgeons as being consistent with a severe concussion.
Some doctors and researchers in the field believe NFL players are allowed to return too quickly from concussions. Among the recent stars who retired because of concussion-related problems were quarterbacks Steve Young and Troy Aikman.
Since June, Roethlisberger sustained facial injuries and a concussion while being tossed off his motorcycle at nearly 40 miles per hour and thrown onto a car; had his appendix removed and received a second concussion from the on-field hit.
"Its been a bad few months," he said. "Hopefully, it will get better."
Meanwhile, Pro Bowl linebacker Joey Porter (hamstring) also looks ready to go against Oakland (1-5) after being upgraded from questionable to probable. He has missed two games.
Clark Haggans (ankle), the other outside linebacker, and nose tackle Casey Hampton (hamstring) did not practice and remain questionable.
:woot: Ben is looking like he is ready to go!!! :woot:
10-26-2006, 06:04 PM
That's great to see Joey is coming back, he'll be a big lift. His intensity and emotion are absolutely needed.
Ben took work in all pratices today and passed all the tests after each session. So far so good. Game time decision but if we know Ben he's going to play. I want him to play in the worst way but if he takes another hit this weekend he could be out for a LONG time. It's a tough call. He's probably going to play but maybe they'll sit him down at some point depending on how it plays out.
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